Two highly successful air quality programs designed to lower emissions from older diesel engines were included in a major legislative package signed into law by Californian Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 28.
“The $2 billion ten-year package included continued funding for two major California clean diesel programs — the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program and AB 923 which supports local air district program to reduce diesel emissions,” said Ezra Finkin, policy director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
“Californians can rightly boast about being the nation’s leader on many fronts, but the fight against air pollution, and putting financial muscle behind the rhetoric, is among the most impressive,” Finkin said. “We congratulate Governor Brown and the bill’s sponsors Assembly member Henry T. Perea, Assembly member Nancy Skinner and Senator Fran Pavley.”
The Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program was first implemented in 1998 and has replaced or upgraded 48,000 diesel engines resulting in a reduction of 146,000 tons (132,449 t) of ozone forming compounds and 6,000 tons (5,443 t) of particulate matter or soot. AB 8, signed by Gov. Brown, extends funding for the program through 2023.
“The Moyer program was uniquely built on bringing together former adversaries to better achieve the common objective of clean air,” Finkin said. “Today, the program’s virtues still unite us as a coalition of government, truck and engine manufacturers, drivers, fleet owners, shippers, environmental leaders and public health organizations in support of this cause.
“Californians breathe cleaner air thanks to efforts that have brought the cleanest diesel and alternative fuel technologies in the world from laboratories to highways and job sites. Emissions from new heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses have been reduced by 99 percent for nitrogen oxides — a smog precursor — and 98 percent for particulate emissions. It would take 60 diesel 2010 trucks to equal particulate matter emissions from one pre-1988 truck. Similar changes are now taking place for new equipment used in farming and construction operations as well.”
Finkin said it was important to note the cooperation for the California business community in achieving the clean air improvements under the Carl Moyer Program.
“The success of Moyer is also due to thousands of California businesses — truckers, contractors, farmers and others who took the initiative to upgrade their equipment and invest in cleaner diesel and alternative fuel technology,” Finkin said. “For example, the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles instituted a landmark equipment upgrade and replacement initiative in part using Moyer and other funding. Last year, port officials reported that particulate emissions from diesel use in the port fell by 70 percent between 2005 and 2011, even though the volume of containers moving through the port increased.
“Thanks to a decade of leadership from elected officials, air districts, the diesel industry, scientists, and environmental and public health advocates, the Carl Moyer Program has been instrumental in reducing air pollution emissions throughout California. Reauthorization of the program by the California legislature will assure timely and continued progress toward clean air and public health benefits in the coming years.”